Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Humble EA, er, Origin Bundle

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 16, 2013

The Humble Bundle started as the “Humble Indie Bundle,” but hasn’t been purely indie for a while. The Humble THQ Bundle – sort of a last gasp from a dying publisher (but one of the better-liked ones) – was a clear signal that it wasn’t just about the indies anymore. I kind of looked at it a different way though. To me, it was the final flag of submission. The indies won. The big publishers were taking the, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach.

So yeah, I get a little annoyed that a venue that used to be reserved for indies was now being used by the guys who those venues were created specifically to thwart. But hey – be gracious in victory and all that. No, it’s not like victory is ever final, and the indies will always compete against their big-budget brethren, and yes I’m still a little bit annoyed… but I didn’t get too worked up about it.

HumbleOriginBundleWhich is why I’m not getting too worked up about the latest “Humble” Bundle – the Humble Origin Bundle (briefly entitled, I hear rumor, the Humble EA Bundle, but I guess the oxymoron was a little too laughable). EA is going all out on this one, donating 100% of its proceeds to charity. That’s right, everything but the tip to the humble bundle guys goes to charity (something a lot of people opted for with the THQ bundle, after all…)

So is EA just feeling magnanimous this week? Actually, I’ll bet there are a lot of folks at EA corporate who are feeling pretty pleased with their charitable efforts right now, and they ought to be. But as a win-win opportunity, the business case for this is simply to get a whole lot more users on their Origin service. That’s no secret. I guess EA is seeing the writing on the wall, and figures this is a chance to jump-start Origin to compete with Steam.  They’ve got a long way to go, especially with a (relatively) limited presence of third-party titles.

I’m not particularly fond of Origin. We can start with its name – how’s that for a misuse of the brand name that once produced the Ultima and Wing Commander series? Just the fact that it is EA is a black mark. I don’t want to have fifty gazillion game clients running simultaneously on my machine, yet I do want Valve to face some serious competition… and I don’t know where it would come from if not from an organization that has deep pockets. Sure, a lot are trying, but it’ll take a lot of money and sustained effort to even threaten Valve’s dominance.

Go figure. I’m a paradox.

I’d suggest EA’s gamble paid off… they’ve sold well over a million copies of the bundle so far. I guess that’s a lot of new (or newly reactivated) Origin accounts. And it’s a lot of money to charity and the Humble Bundle guys. Maybe I’m just tired, but I just can’t generate much of a nerd-rage over this.




Filed Under: Mainstream Games - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • JT said,

    This is the first bundle I haven’t (and won’t) buy. I don’t feel much nerd rage about it particularly, it’s just that I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t a customer of EA anymore, and that decision stands regardless of the packaging.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I do not have a problem with that decision, personally. 😉 I just don’t have much interest in most EA games. I picked up The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval more for research purposes than anything else. I did like what I played of Mirror’s Edge for the XBox. But yeah – most of the time, I just can’t get interested, even when the game is ridiculously cheap. I’ll probably get Dragon Age 2 at *some* point… probably at the “ridiculously cheap” level, and when I’ve finally finished Dragon Age: Origins. That might take a while.

  • Xian said,

    Already finished Mirrors Edge, which was an excellent parkour game years ago, and Burnout Paradise Ultimate Box isn’t – it does not contain the huge Surf Island Expansion you could get on the PS3 version.

    I also had already played the first Dead Space. From the description, I thought the premise sounded similar to System Shock being the lone survivor on a space ship, but it was a little too bloody for me – having to dismember the aliens to keep them from attacking.

    The price is good, but nothing I am interested in, though THB usually ends up adding a title or two in the second week so that might change. I have played Kingdoms of Amalur through Origin and never had any issues – that might sweeten the pot for some users if they would add that.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I’d be pretty happy to get Kingdoms of Amalur. I haven’t played it, and hear it’s pretty enjoyable.

    Of course, I’m like a gazillion RPGs behind, so when I’d be able to play it, I dunno. 🙂

  • Anon said,

    Kingdoms of Amalur is a mixed bag, really. It’s not as bad as people wrote but it’s not a real Elder Scrolls competitor, either. Kinda middle of the road with a slight plus if you like dumbified action RPGs that are made for a certain type of console gamers in mind.
    And it feels totally formulaic, at least to me.

    As for the Origin bundle:
    Most of the games are rather old so this is probably only an advertising campaign or simply a measure to increase Origin registrations (we’ll see if EA announces this in the future…).

  • Xenovore said,

    EA Origin bundle: What JT said. EA is dead to me; they can go rot in a hole. (Not to mention, Mirror’s Edge is the only truly exceptional game out of the bunch.)

    Kingdoms of Amalur: What Anon said. From playing the demo, it plays exactly like a themepark MMO with all the associated hand-holding but sans multi-player. It’s mediocre at best; I wouldn’t bother with it. (It does look nice though.)

  • Delve said,

    Was briefly interested. Then I remembered dealing with Origin the one and only time for Bioshock and immediately went sour on the deal. No nerd rage, though if could probably stir some if I tried, just a natural pain-avoidance reaction to bad software.